Hello, my name is Dominique (Dommi to most who know me), and my best friend and soulmate of the last 11 years is my Shiba Inu mix, Hachi.
Hachi and I do everything together. I work from home so we spend most of our days together, we've traveled together. He has out of state buddies in my friends' dogs, as well as some besties in our neighborhood.
The other night I noticed that Hachi's left cheek seemed sunken/caved in. I googled to get an idea of what I could be facing, and it didn't look promising. Then yesterday in the day time, I realized it's not just his cheek but a spot towards the top of his skull. It's basically the left half of his face caving in.
My veterinarian asked for photos from more than one angle plus gave me a lengthy questionnaire to fill out. Upon the receipt of the photos, she said Hachi is very handsome (which is true), and that he has unilateral facial atrophy due to loss of muscle mass on his left side.
There are several likely causes for this: an unusual presentation of an inner ear infection, inflammation or infection along the nerve(s) that go to those muscles, a tumor along a nerve(s) that goes to those muscles, or trauma of some kind to those nerve(s).
As Hachi is elderly by canine standards, the tumor is an unfortunately likely cause.
It could be simple as prednisone for a month or it could be cancerous. Extensive testing and diagnostics are necessary in order to give him a proper diagnosis as well as treatment protocol. However, I spent much of the last three years unemployed and only recently acquired a stable income in August. I haven't been able to rebuild any savings, and my job is also only currently part time. Full time hours will be coming soon, but for the meanwhile, the estimate given by my doctor for the first few tests is half my take-home pay for an entire month.
I know I have to say goodbye to Hachi someday, but it's too soon. I lost my longtime cat not even two years ago, and the idea of losing Hachi right now is more than I can bear. At the advice of a friend (who has worked in several different vet clinics and has reviewed my doctor's preliminary estimate as well as the photos of Hachi and agreed swift steps should be taken), I'm making this campaign to afford the testing and any initial treatment strategies.
The campaign is set at slightly less than double the estimate to account for the fees for using GoFundMe as well as should any surprise expenses come up during this first round. Hachi will be anesthetized during her examinations, and talk of a CT scan has been mentioned in addition to what's itemized on this estimate.
I understand this is a hard time of year, but Hachi is everything to me. There's not much I wouldn't do for him if it means saving him. If you can help, donating or signal boosting, please do so.